Gary Shortland, Figure Skating Coach
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Music & Choreography



Gary Shortland offers music editing services. Contact him at for more information.

The music you choose for your programs must not only suit your technical ability but also appeal to the audience. It is often easier to select music for ice dancing programs than for freestyle programs because you can choose vocal music. However, when you skate to vocal music, remember to skate to the beat, rather than skating to the words.

When it comes to music selection, originality and uniqueness counts! The best way to find music that has not been used repeatedly by other skaters is to watch other types of musical performances, such as ballroom dancing, sychronized swimming, gymnastics, and music videos. Music editing is also important (and tricky). For easiest and best results, use a music editing software program on a computer.


In ice dance, choreography involves a lot of rules and restrictions that differ from year to year, as well as with the type of program you are performing. However, choreography can be fun; it is your own creation that expresses your talent and skill. And remember: you don't have to choreograph required steps and holds in a specific order, and you can repeat certain steps as often as you like.

Some students rely on their coaches for choreography. However, when you are on your way to becoming a recognized skater or team member, it is wise to invest in a professional choreographer. For specific tips, click the button below.

Gary with Charlotte-creative choreography
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